551 Marines linked with local families over Thanksgiving

1 Dec 2016 | Lance Cpl. Juan C. Madrigal Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

This Thanksgiving the Single Marine Program helped feed Marines and Sailors from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River home cooked meals, Nov. 24. Marines and Sailors were driven to local homes and welcomed to a Thanksgiving Day dinner.

"We placed 551 Marines and Sailors into homes Thanksgiving morning," said Susan Goodrich, the single Marine program branch head. "What was amazing that morning was the amount of leadership that showed up to ensure they greeted their Marines for Thanksgiving and got a good feel for what the day was going to be like."

Marines at their occupation school had little to do this Thanksgiving and no means of going anywhere. Pvt. Jenny Bell, a student at the Logistics Operation School at Camp Jonson on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was one of those Marines.

"It was nice to know we wouldn’t be stuck on base," said Bell. "It was my first Thanksgiving without my kids and it helped to know that there were families willing to help out (this Thanksgiving)."

Marines were also given the choice to go to a local recreation center and eat a Thanksgiving Day meal. All service members were welcome to attend both the family meals and the meals at the recreation centers.

"It was my first Thanksgiving away from home and (the families) welcomed me with open arms," said Pvt. Chris Deherrera, a student at the Logistics Operational School. "It’s a great idea for Marines who are away from home."